Ever have the weirdest things bother you? Stuff you know shouldn't matter, yet stick in your mind like a sharp but tiny stone in your shoe?
The other night, as the Art Walk festivities wound down, I made the mistake of allowing my fellow art walker to suggest we go to the Prosperity. I gotta tell you, I hate the Prosperity. Between the hipsters, the couple of frequently smug and jerky bartendresses, the bleh food for high bar prices, and the awkwardness of the men's room location and entrance, it is decidedly not a bar I like to visit. If I'm in Tremont, give me Edisons, Lincoln Park Pub, or even Hotz's any time.
But I digress. As I noted in a previous post, there was a show at Asterisk that I really wanted to see, both because of the unifying topic and also because one of the featured artists was a woman I had met and liked and bought something from. I caught a glimpse of her outside the Doubting Thomas when I had stepped out to get away from the industrial music and cliche transgressive penis art and non-stop bitching about working for non-profits, but it would have been too forced to catch her attention. Then, at Asterisk, I saw her again, but she was in a group having what seemed to be an enjoyable conversation -- no need to interrupt that.
So, I was pleasantly surprised to see her standing near a table by the entrance as I grudgingly made my way into the Prosperity. As my friend and I made our way past, I made eye contact, smiled, said something along the lines of, "Excuse me, but your name is _______, right?" She said it was, and I said that we had met once or twice before, including one time when I bought a painting from her just over there (as I gestured toward the door and, beyond it, the park) in Lincoln Park late last summer.
She gets this fake confused look, then tells me that she has never done paintings, that she's never been to Lincoln Park, and that I must have her confused with another artist. I knew that wasn't the case. After all, I knew her name. I thought for a quick second about convincing her she was indeed the person I was remembering, even started to describe the painting (which I really like) to her, but she started giving these overblown, rude, mocking looks to her friends like "who is this guy?".
So I just said maybe it was my mistake and wished her a good evening. And then walked over to the bar. My friend said it was too hot and packed, so we went over to Hotz's.
Now, here I am, two days later, and the whole exchange still kind of bothers me. I know I was correct. I looked her name up on google and found links to pictures of other paintings she has shown in other places and they are all done in precisely the same style as mine (sort of a blend of Matisse and southern outsider stuff). I also confirmed that the name on the painting I own is the same. Everything matches up. Everything, that is, except her art diva performance at Prosperity.
Maybe she was trying to be funny. Maybe she was out of it. Maybe she had me confused with some other awful person. Maybe she remembered exactly who I was and I had horribly offended her before and now was extracting revenge.
Or maybe she was just being a jerk.
Whatever, it was embarrassing and uncomfortable and disappointing.
And, petty as it may be, I don't really want her art hanging in my living room anymore.
4 weeks ago